Many of us – maybe you – have had starry-eyed dreams involving Hollywood. Red carpet photo sessions with beautiful companions on our arms. Flashy sports cars. Taking meetings with big name stars at pricey restaurants. And for the vast majority of us, those dreams will remain simply fantasy.
Breaking into show business is often about luck, and when it’s not, it’s due to years of hard work. Not fun.
But today I’m going to tell you how you can make money in the movie industry by simply being a movie fan… or even someone with a passing interest in film. No degree or special education in film is necessary. Neither is experience or knowledge of obscure art films.
I’m talking about making money – real money – for watching movies. Of course, nobody’s going to send you a check for just watching the movie, even if it’s a real stinker. The money-making part comes in when you marry movies with affiliate marketing, one of the quickest and easiest ways to make money online.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works: you partner with a movie-related affiliate network – such as lovefilm.com or netflix.com – and each time someone signs up for one those services, which offer physical DVDs they send to your home and streaming movies through your TV, computer, or mobile device – you earn a commission. And it can be a sizable commission: over $10 for each person you help sign up. And the great thing is you’ll be selling people things they already want.
So how do you get people to sign up for the service so you get that commission? I’ll get to that in a moment. But first…
A Quick History of Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, your job is simply to promote a certain product, in this case, films. As a member of an affiliate program or network, you are given unique links trackable to you that you include on the content and ads you promote on your site.
When a visitor to your site clicks on the link and eventually buys… you get a commission. You’re not responsible for customer service, delivering the product, or refunds. You’re simply an advertiser.
It’s the ideal business model for part-time online business owners and those just getting into making money online.
How Movies Come into the Picture
Promoting and marketing films is just like marketing any other product. The difference is the passion and interest people have for movies. People may not be able to name one author on today’s New York Times bestseller list, but they’d probably have no trouble rattling off their five favorite movies of the past year… or the five top actors and actresses. Those with a deeper interest might have favorite directors.
Just think of all the attentions the Oscars gets – it’s a great indicator of the strength of interest in this industry.
Movies grab people’s attention. That kind of sustainability is a gold mine when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Now, if you’re new to actually setting up a business around affiliate marketing, don’t worry. I’ll explain the process from start to finish here and really, it’s quite easy.
Step One: Start a website. Since you’ll be promoting films, your website should be centered on films, film directors, celebrities, and any showbiz news. You can register an Internet domain name for under $10 from services like GoDaddy.com or Dreamhost.com.
Then you start to build your website. Don’t be intimidated. There is plenty of easy, intuitive software out there for the website novice. WordPress in particular is not only easy to use, but it has become the industry standard by presenting clean, organized, and effortlessly navigable interfaces. Plus, it’s free!
Trust me, with an afternoon and a couple of online tutorials, you’ll surprise yourself with how much of a web pro you’ve become.
As an affiliate marketer, your business success hinges on eyeballs landing on your page. The way to get eyeballs landing on your page is to add content. So that’s your next step.
Start writing movie reviews, commentaries on film genres, open letters to movie studios to make a sequel to your favorite film… anything you can think of really that will catch people’s interest. Lists do really well in this space as well. So include your “Top 10 Horror Movies of the Year” or “The Worst Villains of SciFi” or other similar articles.
But written content is just the beginning. You can start posting pictures – say you at a movie opening or in costume as a favorite character at a convention. Upload short films of yourself reviewing the last movie you saw – like the old Siskel & Ebert show. Video parodies of your favorite movie scene. Basically you want to grab a websurfer’s attention.
You should be adding content regularly. At first, every day, until you build up your site to a respectable size. Then you can cut down to a few times a week. But you should never just quit – new movies are always coming out after all and you want to stay current for your readers or they’ll find another resource for film news.
Once you have a website up and running with a regular stream of viewers, it’s time to approach one of the affiliate networks involved in the movie industry in some way. Neflix.com and lovefilm.com (a Netflix type service from Amazon available in Europe) offer streaming movies and delivery of DVDs to members’ homes. Remember, they’ll pay you a commission anytime a visitor to your site signs up for their service.
You can also sell movie tickets from services Fandango.com. Here you get a cut every time one of your website visitors buys a ticket. This affiliate program is administered by the Google Affiliate Network (http://www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork/) and Commission Junction (www.cj.com).
You can also include ad space on your website from companies like Amazon and Google AdSense (www.google.com/adsense). These “dynamic” ads will be matched to the content on your site, which means, in your case, all movie ads. These aren’t big money-makers like the affiliate marketing you’ll be doing, but it’s no work for you, so why not?
How It Works
Here’s a quick scenario of how this whole movie affiliate marketing business will work.
You know the new Hobbit movie is coming out in a few months. So you start writing related articles, maybe calling back to previous reviews of the first movie in the series. You publish rumors about additions to the cast. Speculate on what parts of the book will make it into the movie. Create a stop motion animation parody of one of the first movie’s scenes with Legos. Really the sky is the limit.
All this content will include links back to ways they can buy the movie on Amazon or sign up to see it on Netflix or lovefilm.com.
Then, the movie comes out. You review it. And, of course, sell tickets to your reader’s local theater through Fandango.com.
You can follow this same model for every movie that comes out. And, of course, you aren’t limited to new releases. You can “promote” classic films, recent hits, or box office blockbusters of the 1970s… whatever catches your interest or you’ve found resonates with your audience.
Soon, you’ll be making a tidy income, from commission payments of a few dollars to nearly $20 per referral. As you can see, with a little work upfront to set up a good website and occasionally updating, you could be earning a passive income of over $1,000 a month… or much more.
I wish you the best of luck!
P.S. I just gave you the industry-scoop on how to become a successful film affiliate promoter.
Check out some of these resources to keep you motivated and succeed.
Movie-Related Affiliate Programs
Movie Review Sites – for Inspiration